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Biocompatible Low-Retention Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoclusters as Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Liver Tumor

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Although superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles have been developed as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), acute iron overload due to the persistently high retention of SPIOs in the liver and spleen that are slowly converted to ferroproteins is a serious safety concern. Here, we report that the addition of poly-L-lysine polymers to an SPIO hydroxyethyl starch solution produced tightly controlled, monodispersed nanoparticles in a size-dependent manner as effective contrast agents for the MRI of liver tumors. High MRI contrast was demonstrated with an orthotopic liver tumor model at a low injection dose. Simultaneously, rapid bioclearance of excess iron in the lung and spleen and in blood serum was observed within 24 h post-injection. The full excretion of excess iron was confirmed in urine post-intravenous injection, suggesting that the effective clearance of SPIOs could be achieved with our SPIO nanoclusters as a liver imaging contrast agent to resolve acute iron overload in the clinical usage of SPIOs as a contrast agent.
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Keywords: BIOCLEARANCE; CONTRAST AGENT; LIVER TUMOR IMAGING; MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING; SUPERPARAMAGNETIC IRON OXIDE NANOPARTICLES; URINE EXCRETION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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